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Police: Mother Killed When Driver Targets Family Outside 7-Eleven

CBS News logo CBS News 2/21/2019 CBSNews

Haverstraw, N.Y. -- A 32-year-old mother was killed and the rest of her family was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after a driver deliberately plowed into them outside a convenience store in a northern New York City suburb, CBS New York reports.

Investigators said 35-year-old Jason Mendez, of nearby Washingtonville, N.Y., intentionally drove into the two adults and six children, including one in a stroller, in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in the Rockland County town of Haverstraw following an argument.

After initially striking the family, police said, Mendez backed up and hit them again.

Mendez drove into the front of the store during one of the two approaches, authorities said.

Police said the initial argument may have stemmed from the husband asking Mendez to not blow cigarette smoke near his children.

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Police said Mendez was brandishing a knife when officers arrived at the scene and, when he refused to drop it, officers Tasered him.

The family members were rushed to nearby hospitals, where officials said the mother was pronounced dead. Her 35-year-old husband and their six children, all under the age of 10, were being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Haverstraw Police Captain Martin Lund called the deadly confrontation "a tragedy."

"It doesn't happen very frequently in our community," he said. "It is a tragedy that happened today."

Mendez was charged with second degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. He's due back in court next Tuesday.


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